Accurate Miniatures 1/48 B-25G Mitchell Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2005 (Updated July 2011)||Manufacturer||Accurate Miniatures|
|Subject||North American B-25G Mitchell||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||3432||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice detail and lots of options||Cons||Front cowl openings slightly too small|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
With the operational successes of the Air Apaches in the South Pacific, the B-25 was gaining momentum on the production lines. What started as "what-if" field modifications to see how many machine guns could be pointed out of the front of the aircraft, these Pacific Straffers were playing havoc with the Japanese.
North American began producing conversion kits to turn more 'stock' Mitchells into straffers, replacing the glass nose with gun mounts. Even so, North American engineers were still trying to keep up with the innovations from the field. Finally, a requirement came in that couldn't be done by the crews in the Pacific. Create a straffer with some high-powered punch that would be more effective against shipping.
The engineers were given a 75mm canon that would be installed in what used to be the access crawlway into the glass nose. The extra weight of the gun was compensated with a shorter nose to maintain weight and balance. In addition to the cannon, the resulting B-25G was also armed with a pair of 50 caliber machine guns.
In operations, the 75mm gun had mixed results other than consistently bleeding off airspeed from the recoil. Nevertheless, the B-25G saw lots of action in the South Pacific. 400 of these aircraft were produced, and these could straffe, gun and bomb its targets with devastating results. Even with the new nose, the aircraft could still drop 3,000 pounds of bombs on target.
Accurate Miniatures originally released the sprues for the B-25G as a conversion to the B-25C kit. Additional parts were also provided to convert the B-25B as well. This conversion included the new gun nose complete with interior details for the cockpit area, the B-25D-type engine nacelles, and the sprue of clear parts that have the B, C and G transparencies.
Since that time, Accurate Miniatures has released the B-25G as a complete kit with the B-25C/D parts and the G nose sprue. As with the previous releases, this kit is molded in light gray injection molded plastic, and sports finely engraved panel lines and details throughout. The parts are all flash-free and there are no injector pin marks in any visible locations.
The kit still features a completely detailed interior, and while I thoroughly enjoyed detailing the inside of the kit, I was equally disappointed that little of that work was visible from the outside. Bear that in mind before you go hog wild inside your fuselage. This isn't a ding against Accurate Miniatures, quite the opposite. Kudos on them for the great work. But until they release the kit with a transparent fuselage, you simply can't see inside not enough windows.
And as with the previous releases of the B-25B & C/D kits, the instructions are very thorough with clear diagrams and description on how to assemble your model. However, with all of the options in the kit and the variations between actual B-25Gs in the field, you'll want to have a few photos and references handy to properly configure your model.
The left side of the shortened nose houses the 75mm gun, while the right side is filled with brass weights (included) to provide enough ballast in the nose to allow the model to sit naturally on its landing gear. Without that weight, the model would be a dedicated tail-sitter.
The kit also features weighted tires, so no resin wheels will be required to make the model look right sitting on its landing gear.
The bomb bay can be displayed open or closed. The interior of the bomb bay is fully detailed and comes with a variety of weapons.
I had heard some rumblings in the community about the accuracy of the engine cowlings in the B-25 kit. The issue turned out to be the size of the opening on the front of the cowls - they are 6 scale inches too narrow in diameter. To be honest, most folks wouldn't notice, but for those who want an option to correct this, Cutting Edge released a set of corrected cowlings for this kit (CEC48184).
Markings are provided for two examples:
- B-25G, 42-64896, "Little Joe"
- B-25G, 42-64758, Sharkmouth
With the variety of paint schemes and nose art available for the B-25G series, it will be difficult to build only one of these aircraft.
I can recommend these kits to anyone with better than beginner modeling skills.
Thanks to Accurate Miniatures for this review sample!